Tomorrow will be the rare occasion that we will barbecue some Bratwurst.
And seeing that this good German sausage needs its best friend, sauerkraut, I thought I would get to work making it.
I should have started it a week ago because it takes 7-10 days to really ferment, but it will still be good.
Sauerkraut is really easy to make and only requires two ingredients: cabbage and salt.
In this case, I used half a purple cabbage and half a green cabbage. But, usually it is green cabbage.
I’m not trying to make this too health focused because I will be eating a Bratwurst, but sauerkraut and other fermented foods like sourdough and yogurt are really good for you. Your gut health will thank you.
The sauerkraut-bratwurst combo is not only a tasty combination, but sauerkraut helps you digest the meat better. So, it’s a good reason to learn how to make your own sauerkraut.
Stick it in the fridge and it almost never goes bad. The salt in it preserves the cabbage. So, you always have this fermented standby ready for your meats.
How to make your own sauerkraut
- 3 lbs. cabbage (about 1 large head)
- 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp. sea salt (use your best quality salt here)
- Big bowl
- Knife or grater
- 1-2 Mason jars
- Cheese cloth or Mason jar fermentation lid
- Slice the cabbage very thin or use a grater. Put it all in a big bowl. It will look like a lot, but it will all shrink down.
- Sprinkle 1 tbsp salt onto the cabbage in the bowl. Massage the cabbage with salt using your hands, for 10 minutes. You will find a LOT of liquid comes out of the cabbage. This is good. This salt-water is your brine that will preserve the cabbage. Taste a piece. It should be a little salty, but not overly. If it has little to no flavor, add ½ Tbsp. salt. Massage it in.
- Get 1-2 clean, large mason jars and pack the jars with just the cabbage, no liquid. Pack it in really tight, using your fist or a spoon. Once its packed, pour some of the liquid in the bowl on top. Make sure there are no floating cabbage pieces. Use a small weight like a shot glass to submerge all the cabbage under the liquid. This prevents mold from forming.
- Put some cheese cloth, double- or triple-layered and close the lid. Store in a cool spot, or the fridge for 3-7 days. Bubbles will form- that’s good! Check that you always push the cabbage down so it’s submerged in the brine. It will last months in the fridge.